No local dealer - should that be a deal breaker?

Over50

Well-Known Member
Hi - as I posted on my introductory thread, I'm considering a Stromer among a couple of other brands:

https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/3-of-my-top-choices-your-help-is-requested.7278/

But a major drawback for me is no local dealer. The closest is probably a 4 hour drive (Chicago or Toronto). Plus, I have little bike mechanical skill. For any Stromer owners that faced the same situation, were you able to readily find service at bike shops or even e-bike shops that were not Stromer dealers? I do have a dedicated e-bike shop in my area but they don't sell Stromer. And of course I have plenty of regular bike shops that I assume could handle regular bike-type issues and maintenance. I was just curious as to owners' experiences trying to get maintenance, service or repairs at a non Stromer dealer. Should I let the lack of a local dealer be the reason to not buy the bike? Thanks
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
It will need service , ask the local shop how the feel. What about the integrated battery appeals to you? And is it a deal breaker ? Have you ridden all three?
 
Last edited:

smitty

Active Member
Hi - as I posted on my introductory thread, I'm considering a Stromer among a couple of other brands:

https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/3-of-my-top-choices-your-help-is-requested.7278/

But a major drawback for me is no local dealer. The closest is probably a 4 hour drive (Chicago or Toronto). Plus, I have little bike mechanical skill. For any Stromer owners that faced the same situation, were you able to readily find service at bike shops or even e-bike shops that were not Stromer dealers? I do have a dedicated e-bike shop in my area but they don't sell Stromer. And of course I have plenty of regular bike shops that I assume could handle regular bike-type issues and maintenance. I was just curious as to owners' experiences trying to get maintenance, service or repairs at a non Stromer dealer. Should I let the lack of a local dealer be the reason to not buy the bike? Thanks
I faced the exact same problem. I first talked with my local dealer about servicing the non-electrical parts of the bike. He was not a very big e-bike fan, but agreed to help me out should the need arise. I went ahead and took the chance, purchasing an ST-1 Limited from a dealer located 5 hours away; free shipping, no tax, along with a 60-day trial. I rode it approximately 300 miles and based upon the reading I was doing on this forum decided to return the ST-1 and move up to the ST-2 which I have now ridden a bit over 500 miles. So far, the electrical problems have been minimal. A couple of times, I have had to pull the battery, then reinstall it, which seemed to restart the system and eliminate the problem. A couple of times, I have had to stop, turn the bike off, then turn it back on to dispatch a bug which seemed to produce a very slight (but recognizable) hitch in the motor. Both times, this solved the problem. Clearly if an electrical problem arises, I see little choice than making the 5 -hour trip to get the problem resolved. I have also contacted Stromer directly and they have been extremely responsive to my queries and my sense of them is that they would do everything they could to help solve any problems. I love the bike and am happy that I took a chance at this point. I wouldn't necessarily advise following this path, but my thinking also is that e-bikes are going to be extremely popular in the very near future and that should attract more and more dealers. My sense at this point is that Stromer makes a great product. The engineering is superb and the bike is a veritable tank that is extremely responsive and wonderful to ride. I hope this give you a bit more perspective on this matter...
 

fxr3

Active Member
I will confidently advise...... St1 for 2 1/2 years. A couple of minor hic-ups(can't even recall them) 4500 miles +\~. Battery still charges full, tires have 60%+ remaining-bought it online, never regretted.
Friends made fun of price so I never told them what I paid for st2. Bought it from Bike Attack in L.A., 60 miles from home(my local dealer). Have had it there twice in a year, both times minor nothing problem, and just a tune-up, inspection deal. Approaching 2k miles, tires 70%, never regretted buying that bike either. Both mine have fox forks and the two popular seat posts. My local dealer is now in San Diego. He has seen st2 once and inspected bike and put a new brake line on front cause mine barely was long enough due to my fork and riser mods. Really, just wanted a place to store it during a 5 day fishing trip. All good. Any true tech questions have been router to stromer from dealer and instantly solved in a normal dealer/mfg trip. I would take advantage of guilt free price shopping(with no local dealer). If your regular bike shop has any foresight- he likely will try to become a dealer- leaving you in a enviable position. Stromer has there game on- technical support will be avaiable, and seems your at an advantage shopping for best price. Bypassing a local dealer to save a few bucks ain't kool. Oh yea, pay the extra for st2, its faster, more torque, and just a little tighter all the way around. Mine are step thrus(girls bikes)lol. Even when my sister and I got our first 10speeds in 1971, I questioned my potential ball-busting "mans" frame. I was 10 years old. Check out the latest full suspension mt. Bikes. They look more girlie every year! B
 

fxr3

Active Member
I have rock shox Reba forks. I live on fox street, duh. Either way, it's a buyers market on 26", 100mm, 265 steerer tube(or measure twice) a too short cut steerer tube take off is a serious screw-up.15mm, 1 1/8 tapered forks- cause any real mountain biker must have 29er's to be cool.
 

fxr3

Active Member
Any bs about geometry are from guys who flunked the suspension part. Sag removes that myth, and mine do the rake and trail thing as good or better than stock forks. Stock forks look bad ass and carbon fiber has a little give to it, I guess. At 28mph even lower tire pressure isn't enough. Imo.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
my experience has not been good w/Stromers is why I asked. I have owned 5 Stromer bikes. I have owned about 20 Stromer motors, currently waiting for another for an ST1 had the the ST2 replaced last week due to the motor housing breaking leaving the spoke nipple nothing to hold on to. It is back in the shop w/the standard surging w/added issue of no power on take offs form stops intermittently. Stromer has been pretty good in their response either directly or through the shop but I have about given up on a biking vacation this summer. I have had my ST2 for about 1 year and I have ridden over 7500 miles. would have been more if it worked more often.

I enjoy them beyond belief when working well but also get so frustrated when they don't. I continue w/Stromer as I am not sure anything is better and I have quite a bit invested in multiple batteries.

I have purchased the front suspension for my ST2 , cant understand not having one to begin with, so much more comfortable
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
...What about the integrated battery appeals to you? And is it a deal breaker ? Have you ridden all three?
Thanks. is based on my perceptions and not backed by actual knowledge (new to ebikes): To me the battery integrated with the frame is more aesthetically appealing. It disguises somewhat that it is an ebike. Functionally, it seems to me it would be more weather resistant and would do more to discourage tampering if/when you leave it locked up in a public spot. Again, I am new to this so these are merely my perceptions and not based on any knowledge/experience I have.

I have never ridden an ebike. I don't think it will be possible to ride the Stromer or Kalkhoff in my area. Even the Trek is difficult because, despite the plethora of dealers, it doesn't seem to be something they keep in stock. My dealer told me they would order if I was buying. Those they have stocked in the past, they said, sold very quickly.

During the 1st quarter of 2017, I hope to be able to travel to one of the ebike expos. Their website does not have a 2017 schedule yet but I am optimistic they will have something on a major airport hub that won't cost me an arm and a leg to get to. This is probably the only way I would be able to try a Stromer and a Kalkhoff in the same location. Also maybe some new/interesting 2017 models will be around by then.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
my experience has not been good w/Stromers ...
Thanks for all the info. From these forums it seems that even the more high end manufacturers have their share of good/bad reviews. Which tells me there are still bugs to be worked out of the technologies. It seems quite a risk to spend $6 to $10K on a product when the dealer isn't readily accessible. From reading through the Kalkhoff forum, they too seem to have motor/electronic issues. Not that I've made any decisions one way or the other but still just gathering information.

I have made one visit to a dedicated ebike shop close to me and they didn't stock anything that was appealing to me or recognizable. But I might return and just ask some questions about servicing a Stromer - just to try to get a feel for their willingness and ability to do so. I do have a local Kalkhoff dealer but it is a regular bike shop. They told me they have sold 4 Kalkhoff ebikes and haven't seen any of them come back as they were sold to customers who travelled to my area to make the purchase. They seemed highly competent with regular bikes but not too experienced with ebikes.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
... but my thinking also is that e-bikes are going to be extremely popular in the very near future and that should attract more and more dealers...
Really great info and I appreciate you relating your experience. I am hoping that by the time I am ready to make the purchase (next spring), that my area has picked up a dealer.

By the way: I'm delaying the purchase until Spring for several reasons: 1). don't want to make a big purchase prior to winter months and then have bike sit as I wait for snow to melt and/or ride over road salt; 2). riding my regular bike a lot to get into better shape (get into commuter shape); 3). time to do research and make the right decision - and hopefully find a place to test ride...
 

fxr3

Active Member
Contrasting experiences- to say the least. I would say Stromer would jump right in and get optimax new bikes, but after 20 motors- they kinda already have. COL(cry out loud). It still confounds me how some bikes seem so plagued- surging, etc....... And at the same time Ravi is riding his across the country and I would take mine any direction and ride it till battery died without hesitation. I'm glad I'm not trying to decide on buying one right now. After reading my experience vs. optimax. I bought my st1 in summer 2013, sight unseen, from 500 miles away based on post from this forum.
So, really, you have hundreds of pages to consider. And, if you can maintain 20mph on your regular bike- your hot enough to be in Rio, almost.
If I could maintain 20 on a regular bike- I would think STROMER was some kind of food.
Good Luck.
 

fxr3

Active Member
Keep in mind- that motor design is simple and somewhat bulletproof. The industrial revolution was possible because of that motor design. There are prolly a billion revolutions a second going on right now, and the last thing anyone involved with those motors spinning right now is worried about is them failing.
To say that magnetic induction(or whatever it's technical name is) is reliable in 99.9 percent of applications- would be a understatement. The last thing you expect when you flick a switch of bathroom fans to a factory grinder to most everything on earth that spins electrically- is for it not to spin. That's a petty good track record.
 

fxr3

Active Member
a dealer 4 hours away is not an impossible voyage anyway. A dealer is not ultimately the one who clears technical issues anyway. Their job is to sell and maintain, but not no every nuance of their product. Dell computers never left any customers behind and stromer won't either. If every American bought as many Stromers as optimax and I combined in the last 2 years- there gross sales would be bigger than Apple.
They like that idea, and only great support from mfg. will get that done.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
... And, if you can maintain 20mph on your regular bike- your hot enough to be in Rio, almost. If I could maintain 20 on a regular bike- I would think STROMER was some kind of food...
Good Luck.
Ha. No way for me. My regular bike is a speedster but I, the rider, am a tortoise. The other day I rode 20 miles and averaged 11mph. Far too slow for a 15-17 mile commute. I figure I need to average 18 or better to make the commute idea feasible. And my commute would have a lot of start/stop rather than long stretches of open riding. So for that I understand the Stromer as a hub drive outperforms the mid drive.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
a dealer 4 hours away is not an impossible voyage anyway...
I wouldn't mind at all a once per year overnight to Toronto or Chicago for a tuneup (and to keep a relationship with the selling dealer). But more than that and it becomes a burden. Probably later this year I will get to contacting these dealers to get their take on servicing long distance customers. I bet due to the sparcity of dealers they all have a fair share of long distance customers.
 

fxr3

Active Member
Lol. I thought I saw somewhere you were 20mph. Yes, that is steroid, drafting, carbon fiber, Lycra stuff.
Their bikes don't break, they do. I'm 56, heart failure, and I kinda give stromer bike credit for saving my life(due to fun excercise). I'll stay with my virtual trouble free experience, totally happy, would do it again and convinced Stromer is the best and ebikes themselves possibly the coolest thing to come along in my life(after DSL, of course). Barry
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
Most of those motors were on their first model the sport with(later on) known issue. Stromer has given me bikes , as I said Stromer has been pretty good support , these days better than ever.....But I have had to use then too much. I rode my wife's ST1 for 64 miles last night. It seemed to be fine so may be all is good there after all. Possibly a little weak on hills but maybe not.

My ST2 is giving more symptoms then just surging. The take off w/o power,different top speed , and the very intermintant am speed of 8 mph in Eco. I have ridden a couple other of the American bikes, all both ran noticeably better than mine at the time. My bike has also run perfectly I believe but not very often and not for awhile. Spoke to tech yesterday, still going to Diags, he was able to duplicate my feeling that it is not correct. Both of us think it points to torque sensor but hoping Diags find something specific what ever it is. I like my tech but he is 1st to admit he doesn't have massive experience w/ebikes.